No. 2-ranked UFC welterweight Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit has his work cut out for him at March 15’s UFC 171 from American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas.
Matched up against No. 11-ranked Tyron Woodley, former interim champ Condit knows he can’t look past the heavy-handed former NCAA All-American wrestler.
But it’s a fight he fought over two years ago that keeps coming up in Condit’s interviews. That fight was his highly controversial interim title bout with polarizing bad boy Nick Diaz at 2012’s UFC 143.
With Diaz recently calling out for an immediate title shot after being out of action since losing a one-sided contest to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 158, Condit acknowledged that Diaz turned down a rematch with him. Speaking on a media conference call today, Condit said that he wants that fight at some point down the road:
“The fight was offered to me. I agreed. I thought the first fight; there was obviously a lot of controversy after the fact. (It's) probably a rematch a lot of people want to see, a lot of hype, a lot of buzz. It's the type of fight I want to be in, so you know, I pretty much agreed right off the bat.
Nick, for whatever reason, I'm sure he's got his reasons, didn't take the fight. But in the future I would be interested in the fight. I think rematches are always intriguing, especially when they're close like that one.” – via MMA Fighting
It definitely would be intriguing, but Condit isn’t the champ and Diaz thinks he doesn’t require a tune-up fight before getting a title shot.
While that’s highly up for debate, it’s very difficult to question Diaz’ charisma and sheer drawing power. With the UFC currently starved for top-level attractions, getting Diaz back in the mix is probably one of the better business decisions the UFC could make.
However, to make Diaz’ rematch with Condit a reality, “The Natural Born Killer” has to get by Woodley first. Condit admitted that in the past, his kryptonite has been wrestling. Against Woodley, Condit said he has to overcome that deficiency and make it his kind of fight:
“This division is and has been dominated by wrestlers for a long time, and that's obviously something that I've been lacking. So I've made a point to bring in some high-level guys and try to improve that aspect of my game.
I've definitely made some big strides. I don't think I'm going to get in there and win a wrestling match against Tyron, but I've just got to stop some of those takedowns, be able to handle myself in the wrestling exchanges enough to win the fight and implement my game.”
While that’s easier said than done, Condit has seen it all throughout his lengthy MMA career. Will he soon be fighting for the title once again, or is another match with Diaz in the cards?